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Lilly Bauer (née Riess) * 1881
Frickestraße 24 (Hamburg-Nord, Eppendorf)
Lilly Bauer, née Riess, born on 3 Apr. 1881 in Hamburg, deported on 18 Nov. 1941 to Minsk
"The cigar manufacturer Robert Riess, residing at Spielbudenplatz no. 13, of the Jewish religion, announces that Sella, née Meyer, his wife of the Jewish religion, residing in Hamburg in his home, gave birth to a child of the female sex given the first name of Lilly … on the morning of 3 Apr. of this year.” With this formulation, the proud parents gave notice of the birth of their third child. Lilly grew up with her siblings Henry (born in 1876), Elsa (born in 1877), and Erna (born in 1884) in modest circumstances in the St. Pauli neighborhood. She married the sales representative and commission agent Moritz Meyer Bauer, who was 17 years her senior. Since he had to support his mother as well after the death of his father, money was always scarce; repeatedly, they asked to have their payments of Jewish religious tax (Kultussteuer) to the Jewish Community deferred.
The childless couple moved several times: from Admiralitätsstraße 19 to Küterwall 26, from there to Glashüttenstraße 108, and eventually to Gärtnerstraße 125. In 1932, they applied for an apartment in Martin-Brunn-Stift, a residential home at Frickestraße 24 in Eppendorf, where the two were able to move into a small family apartment on the ground floor on 1 Mar. 1933. Moritz Meyer Bauer was 68 years old at the time of the move, his wife Lilly 51.
Since 1905, this housing development was administered by the Vaterstädtische Stiftung. The largest charitable institution for rent-free or very low-rent apartments (Freiwohnungen) in Hamburg, it operated eleven residential homes overall. The Vaterstädtische Stiftung originated with Jewish sponsors who had established a parity-based charitable foundation in 1849 on the occasion of civic emancipation of Hamburg Jews. The foundation allocated apartments without consideration of religious affiliation [i.e. on the principle of parity or equality]. Continuous expansion succeeded due to generous donations by the Jewish middle classes.
Despite increasing anti-Jewish reprisals, the couple still lived there in relatively secure circumstances during the years prior to Moritz Meyer Bauer’s death in Oct. 1937. The year 1938, however, saw the launch of "Aryanization” of the Jewish and parity-based system of foundations, and thus of the Vaterstädtische Stiftung as well. The Jewish members of the executive board, who in many cases had managed the foundation’s fortune for decades and were often the descendants of the founders, were deprived of their offices, and the Jewish occupants now had to move out of the now "Aryanized” residential homes within a few months. Only three formerly parity-based residential homes, the John R. Warburg-Stift, the Mendelsohn-Israel-Stift, and the Martin-Brunn-Stift as well as 12 Jewish residential homes remained available for Jewish persons; all of them were put under the control of the welfare system operated by the "Jewish Religious Organization” ("Jüdischer Religionsverband”).
In accordance with the "Law on Tenancies with Jews” ("Gesetz über die Mietverhältnisse mit Juden”) dated 30 Apr. 1939, the persecution of the Jewish population became more threatening all the time. The law abolished the legal protection of tenants for them, which meant it was possible to terminate their rental agreements without notice. This served to push ahead with the establishment of "Jews’ houses” ("Judenhäuser"), where Jews were forced to move. These also included the 15 residential homes altogether that had to accommodate an ever-increasing number of persons.
By Sept. 1940, the number of occupants at Martin-Brunn-Stift had risen from initially 58 to 83, reaching its peak in June 1942 with 144 occupants. The regulations for occupancy stipulated that one-room apartments had to accommodate three persons and one-bedroom apartments between four and five persons.
Lilly Bauer, too, now lived in her apartment measuring 35 square meters [approx. 375 sq. ft.] together with strangers who had been deprived of their belongings and their homes.
The "Jews’ houses” ("Judenhäuser”) played a tragic role as the last places of residence before the deportations. On 25 Oct. 1941, the first two women were deported from the residential home to Lodz; on 8 Nov., the married couple Alfred and Gertrud Friedensohn as well as Marianne Boas received the so-called "evacuation order;” and for 18 Nov. 1941, Lilly Bauer’s name also appeared on the transport list. She was deported to the ghetto in Minsk and murdered. Overall, 112 persons were deported on the transports in July 1942 from Martin-Brunn-Stift to the concentration camps.
Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
© Maria Koser
Quellen: 1; 4; 5; 8; StaH 332-5 Personenstandsbuch, 2002 Nr. 1674/1881 (Lilly Riess); StaH 332-5 Personenstandsbuch, 1070 Nr. 403/1937 (Moritz Meyer Bauer); StaH 522-1 Jüd. Gemeinden 992e2 Band 3; Schwarz, Die Vaterstädtische Stiftung 2007, S. 162ff.
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